The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ordered a speedy retrial of the case between Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President Amaju Pinnick and embattled NFF Factional leader, Chris Giwa, at the Federal High Court Jos.
Delivering the judgment, the Supreme Court held that the Appeal Court which gave judgment in favour of Pinnick after the High Court’s ruling in 2015 which favoured Giwa, did not follow the principles of law in giving its decision.
It affirmed that it is only the High Court that can rule on the substantive case.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Giwa is contesting the authenticity of the Pinnick-led Executive of the NFF and has dragged the matter to the apex court having already lost out at the Appeal Court.
It would be recalled that Giwa was elected as NFF President in August 2014 in Abuja, while Pinnick was given same mandate at a separate congress held in Warri, Delta State, on Sept. 30 the same year.
Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS, in Zurich, Switzerland later ruled in favour of the Pinnick-led NFF board.
The latest development may truncate Nigeria’s participation at the Russia 2018 World Cup after been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina because FIFA detest government interference or court cases in football administration.
Meanwhile, NFF has assured that there was no reason for Nigerians to get worried about a Supreme Court decision on the 2014 elections into its Executive Committee.
The football body, on its twitter handle some moments after the court’s ruling on Friday, said the Supreme Court in Abuja did not nullify Amaju Pinnick’s election as NFF President.
It said its reaction followed news to the contrary ongoing on social media.
NFF’s counsel, Festus Keyamo, was quoted in the tweet as saying: “Nobody should cause unnecessary panic in Nigeria’s football. That’s my case.
“Supreme Court did not nullify Amaju’s election. The Supreme Court did not remove Amaju from office.
“The Court only referred the case back to the Federal High Court to be tried properly, to know which of the elections held in 2014 was right.
“Amaju was not a party to the case at the Supreme Court. So, the court could not have removed a party from office without joining the party and hearing from the party.’’